DEFIANT INFIDELS




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Friday, December 22, 2006

Bending the 6th Amendment


North Carolina District Attorney Mike Nifong seems to have a fair charge of "splainin'" to do after a court hearing on the three rape accused Duke Lacrosse players, Reade Seligmann, David Evans, and Collin Finnerty.

After DNA Security director Brian Meehan testified in court on Friday, December 15th, that the results of DNA testing on the alleged rape victim's underwear showed absolutely no traces of DNA attributed to the accused, he somehow seems to suggest that this was an accidental omission from court evidence presented? This is a conclusive lack of evidence that was known to Meehan on May 12th, 2006, almost a month after the three were indicted. Mr. Meehan stated under oath Friday:

"Had Mr. Nifong said, 'We want a report on everything,' that is what we would produce," Meehan said.

"You violated the protocols of your own lab," [questioning defense attorney] Bannon said.

"Correct ... I don't have a legal explanation for it," Meehan said. "I was just trying to do the right thing."

"This goes to the credibility of your lab, correct?" Bannon asked.

"Absolutely," Meehan replied.

What kind of double-speak is THAT? Why, in such a serious case, or any case for that matter, would Meehan make the assumption that Nifong wanted anything LESS than "everything" that resulted from the DNA testing? Wouldn't that be the reasoning for the testing in the first place? And how can Meehan state that his motive for withholding such critical findings until seven months later would be "trying to do the right thing"?

In addition the reality that these young men may very well be falsely accused, yet continue to have their lives savaged by these charges, has anybody given thought to the possibility that this could happen to any one else in the community accused if this precedent is allowed to pass unpunished? These men are charged with kidnapping, sexual offense and rape! The charges stem from a party that occurred last March! This apparent collusion between Nifong and Meehan is to be construed proper in a country with a 6th Amendment right to a speedy and public trial? It has only been very public.

Where is the evidence to accuse, much less convict, these three young men? There are no witnesses, no pictures, no injuries to the alleged victim and NOTHING to connect the three accused to this woman. Why has the judge not thrown this case out the window?

There have been many other shortfalls in this case, too. Like one of the two investigating police officers taking more than two months to complete and turn over his notes on the case. Like no toxicology report on the alleged victim. Like that the victim has just been announced pregnant and about to give birth. Reports have marked the date of conception as two to three weeks after the alleged rape occurred. This would mean that the supposed victim had yet more sex , assumably consentual (no new charges against anyone!), very shortly after such a traumatic attack was to have taken place. How many women who had really experienced such a gang rape would be able to have meaningful, wanted sex so soon? And the panties that had not one trace of the accused perpetrators DNA in them... they did have the DNA of "several" other men in them, to date unidentified, from that same night. This has all the appearance of a District Attorney exploiting and capitalizing a "case" to stir up enough fluff and attention to ensure his re-election to his post last month.

Why don't any of these facts so easily weigh in favor of the accused as the hearsay from the "victim" weighs against the accused?

If Nifong has evidence, fine, present it. If the accused are guilty, fine, convict them with solid fact and punish them heavily for the heinous crime. But it is every bit as heinous to falsely accuse these men and publicly stomp their reputations into the dirt without substantiating evidence. Safeguarding against that is also one of the very important reasons we have a justice system. At least, it used to be.


*UPDATE*

Friday, December 22nd...

Nifong has dropped the rape charges, but only the rape charges! He left the felony "kidnapping" and "sexual assault" accusations in place, both of which are punishable by multiple years in jail. The guy is simply beyond the pale!

First, the WORM tries to slip this under the radar on the Friday evening of Christmas Weekend and shortly after the space shuttle makes a return landing, in an effort to be as low profile in the news list as possible. Then, he leaves the other two charges in place after stating that the rape charges have insufficient evidence backing them up. We still have no evidence, so how do the other two charges remain??? And where was/how was this woman ever "kidnapped" in the first place???

This is the epitome of arrogance and abuse of power. I am hearing rumblings of legal action against mike Nifong, but I also heard Megan Kendall of FOX News state that prosecution of an elected District Attorney over pressed charges against accused perpetrators is almost unheard of. That is very disappointing as she is almost always right on the money and I can't remember a more abusive breach of justice by a DA! Public outrage in the area should be deafening and this will remain interesting to see how it evolves. Interesting for us, a continued nightmare and travesty of justice for the three Duke University LaCrosse players.

Stay tuned...
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